By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento
He is a beautiful beast, everything is gargantuan and bulging on this man – his body carved by sweat, dedication and determination. As your eyes drink in his perfectly chiseled physique your heart is warned by his charm and gentle demeanor. He is funny and playful with a commanding presence whose soul blankets you with kindness. Trevor Adams, the perfect man is a successful fitness model, previous Playgirl “Man of the Month” and personal trainer. I called him up and asked if he would share some of his expertise with all the FENUXE Magazine gym bunnies and as usual he was more than happy to share his thoughts.
How many days per week do folks need to work out?
Trevor – Well it depends on your starting point. If you are just getting into the groove of things and the gym is a new experience for you, start off with just 2-3 days, skipping a day in between. It’s always best to get your feet wet first, this allows the body and mind to adjust, and then you can make the necessary adjustments after that. It’s best not to compare yourself to someone else and set your own (reasonable) goals and stick with it. If you’re a beginner, you may want to bring a workout partner or hire a trainer for motivation and instructional advice.
Should I eat before a workout and if I do what should I eat?
Trevor – It’s best to keep it simple prior to a workout in terms of consuming food. If you have a full stomach when working out, your body is focused on digestion and not working out. During the time of digestion, (and while working out) your body is supplying the stomach with oxygenated blood so your body is also having to redirect the blood supply to the necessary muscles which will result in you feeling fatigued. I would keep the calorie count under around 300 prior to a workout with strictly carbs/protein. If you can just consume this in liquid form (shake/smoothie) then you’ll thank yourself later as liquids absorb much quicker than solids and you shouldn’t feel the nauseous effects either.
What should I eat after a workout?
Trevor – I think most fitness enthusiasts would agree that protein and carbs are very important immediately following a workout. If you can accomplish this in a shake or smoothie formula it will absorb quicker. However, this most likely won’t curb your appetite, so you may want to incorporate quality sources of food (lean meat and carbs) for optimal results.
Will I have to do cardio?
Trevor – Well with all things considered, you don’t have to do anything, ha ha. You get out of something what you put into it – we’ve all heard the cliché. Cardio is great for a warm-up prior to weight training exercises or it’s good to do on the days where you may not have the energy for a full workout (with the weights) or if you aren’t an experienced gym-goer and cardio is all you know – it’s better to get in the gym and do something, however, you’ll find it more rewarding if you actually enjoy the process and don’t suffer through it. If you don’t look forward to your workout, guess what, you won’t be as enthused about coming back and you will undoubtedly quit.
Should I do Cardio or Weights first?
Trevor – I’d recommend cardio as a warm-up, slower speeds, progressing up to slightly faster speeds to get the muscles warmed up and then transition to weight training. Casual stretching is recommended soon after cardio as the muscles are more flexible at this point. Stretching while the muscles are cold and prior to a ‘warm-up’ will inevitably lead to a muscle tear or strain. Conversely, since weight training requires more energy, some people want to do it first, exhaust themselves, and then taper off with cardio. Either way can work – to each his own.
What is the best diet for weight loss?
Trevor – You’ll need to learn to start counting calories. If you don’t know your numbers, you’ll be dieting forever – there is no true way around it. That’s like trying to find out how much money you spent at the grocery store if you don’t have a receipt. The receipt allows you to itemize each product purchased and see exactly what the total is. If you can’t afford something, you browse the receipt, see what item doesn’t fit your budget and put it back, the price then becomes cheaper. A nutritional plan works the same way. If your day to day eating habits (nutritional plan) are under control then you’ll never have to diet again. A diet is a reduction in calories from your nutritional plan, so if your nutritional plan requires many calories per day and your diet requires much less – will you lose weight? Sure you will, however, you most likely won’t enjoy the process or quality of life for that matter. In addition, you’ll be yo-yo dieting for quite some time until you get your day to day eating habits under control. You can do this by counting calories and by learning the nutritional labels: protein vs fats vs carbs (macronutrients) and don’t forget to count the serving size as well. After counting your calories for each meal, beverage, and snack, (excluding water and diet sodas), jot these numbers down on a piece of paper for a week and get an average. If you don’t like the way you look at the end of the week, taper back a measly 500 calories per day. (doesn’t have to come from one meal) and watch the pounds fall off. If you want to taper off more, do so, you’re your own finish line. Best part is, you can still eat the foods you love but you now have a formula to follow to help you track your daily caloric intake and slowly lose the weight all without having to adhere to a traditional diet.
Are there any secrets or short cuts?
Trevor – There are many short cuts and here’s the short list: don’t keep ‘cheat treats’ accessible; this means at the home or the office. Keeping small ‘healthy’ snacks accessible (fruit, yogurt, lean cuts of deli meat, canned tuna fish, etc.) is a great way to help fight the cravings throughout the day and keep your calorie count in check (and your muscles fed properly). This doesn’t have to be done for every meal, again, try tapering off slowly. If you like regular soda, try switching to diet – by pouring half diet and half regular is a great way to taper off and although you probably won’t notice a difference in taste, you will see a drastic change in the calorie intake, (reg. 12 oz can of coke has 140 calories). Same with milk or other dairy products, you have the whole version of milk at 9 grams of fat per serving, all the way down to skim milk, with zero grams of fat. Jump from whole milk and taper to 2%, then 1%, then eventually skim – you can do it. You can’t begin something new without finishing something old, but the best transition is a reasonable transition. If you attempt to lose weight too fast, you will be fighting an uphill battle so move at your own pace but be consistent.
What are the pros and cons to using supplements?
Trevor – Well as you may know, the supplement companies make a lot of money from the consumers and often times will prey on their naivety. One shouldn’t always believe what the product is intended to do simply because of the athlete that endorses it. Yes protein shakes/bars are a convenient source of nourishment before or after a workout and can be cost effective and most likely won’t have any negative health effects, however, food is the purest form of nutrients. I think most of the negative effects that supplements will have would be the test booster supplements and perhaps the caffeine/ephedrine/aspirin supplements, better known as the ECA stack. Anything that is a stimulant and gives you energy has the potential for heart issues (especially if overweight), so as it indicates on the bottle, it’s best to consult your Doctor prior to use so you get a clean bill of health beforehand and also so you don’t give the product that was intended for healthy individuals a bad rap.
What if you are having trouble adapting to better eating habits – what can one do?
Trevor – The ‘tweaking method’ that I have discussed in a previous question and in my numerous blog contributions to Fitness RX for Men explains how to count calories, all while eating your favorite foods. It goes on later to explain how to tweak or taper off the calories or even select healthier versions or alternatives to these foods so the ‘process’ is much easier. It’s easier going to the party with friends that you know versus being in a room full of complete strangers, so while sticking with the foods you’re accustomed too and learning healthier alternatives, this should get you further along in my book. If you have a healthy nutritional plan, you won’t need to diet.
Is planking and strengthening your core as good as they say?
Trevor – Absolutely, your core is your body’s infrastructure and strengthening this region is essential in total body composition. You ever notice how boxers or fighters in general have really defined abs? This is mostly so they can throw punches with great effectiveness, (and take punches) all while being light on their feet.
I hear working out your legs is essential in weight loss – why is that?
Trevor – Well, next to having a solid core and a pumped upper body – you can’t have the skinny chicken legs now can you? You may think you’re King Tut, however, there are people talking about you behind your back. I hear them all the time. If you saw a big tree in the woods with a skinny trunk, trust me – it’d be the first to be blown over during a storm. The quads, as you may know, are the body’s largest muscle – and muscle feeds off of fat, so the theory is – if you have more muscle development, naturally your body will make better use of the fat for energy purposes (so don’t put the burden on your upper body mass solely). This will help you maintain your preferred weight easier; however, it isn’t an excuse to eat more fat. It also provides the body with a more symmetrical look and won’t leave you looking top heavy while wearing your speedos to the beach.
What can I do during office hours that will help me stay fit?
Trevor – Replace the cheat treats with healthier alternatives. For obvious reasons this will help you slim the waistline down a bit, but it will also cut down on your cravings for food so you don’t end up binge eating for lunch or dinner. Adjusting your workstation so you are standing and not sitting at the computer is not only better for the lower back, as it improves one’s posture, but you actually burn more calories while standing because your muscles are in use. If you’re able to take the stairs and not the elevator, do so. If your office is at the top of the Empire State building, get off the elevator a few floors below your floor and take the few extra flights of stairs the rest of the way. Challenge yourself to take an additional flight every week until you have reached your fitness goals, even if this keeps you out of the gym. If you like to eat lunch near your office, try walking there and walking back. Lastly, try walking during your lunch break after you eat – nothing too strenuous; you don’t want to vomit, but walk comfortably at your own pace. Where there is a will, there is a way.
For more information visit trevoradamsgym.com